Raymond Thimmes

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She looked down at the half-finished cigarette. She tossed it to the ground and stood up. She stumbled around a bit and I tried to hug her. She pulled away oddly and went back inside. I sighed and looked up, thinking of some other person I used to know but that didn’t actually exist staring up at the same time, maybe missing some moment with me we once had.

There are moments when your life leaps out of your chest. There are times when you feel the burning betrayal of all that you thought was good and true. The time when a Sheriff slams you down onto the hood of his cruiser because you backed away from him as he pulled out the handcuffs, that’s one of those times.

We had quiet, godly conversations in the halls after service. No one ever shouted “testify” or “amen.” I just remember that we stood and sang old hymns a lot.